How to quickly restore your eCommerce website lost speed
Website load speed is one of the most important performances of any site, and it is especially important when it comes to e-commerce websites. Research has shown that 53% of all mobile device users leave sites that take more than 3 seconds to load.
It is the 21st century, the whole world is in a hurry, and no one has time to lose. If a website doesn’t load fast enough, there’s always a competitor we can go to.
Can you afford to allow such a loss – that the poor speed of your website causes a high rejection rate, which will result in a lower conversion rate and new financial losses?
Equally important – the loading speed of the website affects the optimization of your site for search engines because it is one of the ranking factors that Google analyzes when ranking websites.
How to find out the loading speed of a website?
There are numerous websites and tools that can help you find out how fast your site is loading in just a few moments. One of them is Google Page Speed insights.
This tool analyzes the speed on a scale from 0 to 100 and gives you download results for computers and mobile devices. You will also receive improvement tips and links that will provide you with all the necessary information on how to do it.
Another tool with which you can analyze the speed of your eCommerce site and get suggestions for its improvement is Pingdom. In addition to speed, this tool will give you an insight into all potential problems – the number of visits to the site, page sizes, page retention rate, etc.
Although the loading speed is affected by a number of factors, in 2021, the optimal loading speed for an eCommerce site should be 2 or a maximum of 3 seconds, according to Google. For comparison – Google loads in half a second!
What can you do if your eCommerce site has slowed down? To react immediately, of course, in the following ways:
Consider whether your hosting is appropriate
If you run an eCommerce website a good hosting company and a good package of hosting services are essential for your business.
All hosting providers offer the perfect service, but once you rent cyberspace and put your site up and running, it turns out that the service doesn’t fit the description completely.
Good hosting must be fast. In order for your website to load in seconds, it must be reliable and support the services that are necessary for the functioning of the website.
In addition to the listed features, hosting should provide the amount of traffic flow on the site (so that your site does not “fall” due to too many visits) and disk space (space for storing all the data that makes up your website).
There are three basic types of hosting: shared, virtual and dedicated servers. The shared server service is more affordable than the other two, but it means that your website will share server space with a number of other sites.
Depending on visits to other sites, the performance of your site may lose on quality. Shared servers are not recommended for large eCommerce websites.
You might save a few dollars if you buy a cheap hosting service, but that’s a poor investment – you could end up at a big loss.
Virtual and dedicated servers are a slightly more expensive option, but certainly more cost-effective for eCommerce websites, as speed is not something you can compromise on.
If you have outgrown your current hosting package, you can change it quickly and easily. The change will affect the loading speed of your eCommerce site, and every millisecond counts!
Reduce the number of plugins you don’t need
The WordPress platform supports a huge number of plugins, and you might think that you need them all and install them without real knowledge of their functions. Additionally, find proper hosting to speed up WordPress so that you can use its plugins more effectively.
Plugins can even cause a site crash, if they are not complementary to each other, they can cause site errors, and so on.
When it comes to plugins, it is not only about their number, but also their quality. Sometimes sites with 50 quality plugins can load faster than a site with 10 that oppose each other.
Analyze any plugins you have installed over time and delete unnecessary ones. When we say delete, we mean to really delete them, not just uninstall them.
Leave only the plugins that are necessary for the operation of your site. Also, remove unnecessary add-ons for social networks – leave only those for social networks that you actively use, probably Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
To find out which plugins are slowing down your site, use the Plugin Performance Profiler, which will determine which plugins slow down the site and which you don’t use at all.
For some plugins, you can find a replacement solution or add-ons that are a 2-in-1 solution. Perform site audits every few months to prevent such errors from happening to you.
Optimize images on your eCommerce website
eCommerce websites are full of images, and uploading images can significantly slow down a site if they are not well-optimized. Large media files can drastically increase the loading speed of an eCommerce website.
Before you add an image to the site, you should reduce its size and compress it so that it does not exceed 100 kb. The preferred image format is JPG. This way, you will achieve significant space savings.
You can edit the images in Photoshop, but if you’re not familiar well enough with PhotoShop, you can literally reduce them in Paint and compress them in Compressimage.toolur.com.
You can find a number of tools on the Internet to optimize and compress JPEG files, and images. We will list only a few of them – JPEG Optimizer, Optimizilla, Kraken.io, Optimole, ImageRecycle, etc.
Everything we said in the previous section also counts when it comes to videos. Try to compress videos before uploading them to your page, because the inappropriate format can significantly slow down the loading speed of your site.
Compressing video files can be a bit trickier. You can leave that job to professionals in web design and SEO. You can find them in the Web Design San Diego list, or you can just host videos externally, on YouTube, or any other video platform.
Update your site’s database regularly
Your eCommerce website has a database that requires regular updates. Over time, during the months of working on the site, the database collects different kinds of data that you do not need.
For example, the WordPress platform stores all post revisions, drafts, and login information in a database. This duplicates the content and slows down the loading speed of the site. The database update will speed up your site’s loading time.
One of the best tools for optimizing the WordPress database platform is the Better Delete Revision plugin, which will allow you to free up space on the site and delete old revisions.
A great option is the VP Sweep plugin that deletes revisions, automatic drafts, deleted, disapproved, and unwanted comments, and many other features that slow down your e-commerce website.
Use caching plugins
Caching is important because it helps to achieve a better loading speed of your website and increase its efficiency, and it is especially important if your site is built on the WordPress platform.
With caching plugins, you will create a static version of the site. The pages will be displayed to users immediately, without waiting for any of their requests to be processed. The site will load faster because elements such as images and videos will be pre-loaded.
Site caching can significantly reduce site loading speed.
The best caching plugin is WP Rocket which is ideal for beginners and also slightly more experienced website owners.
A good option is also W3 Total cache which claims you will see a 10x improvement in site performance when fully configured. Other great caching plugins are WP Super Cache, SG Optimizer, WP Engine, and BlueHost.
Use the Content Delivery Network
A content delivery network (CDN) is a system of interconnected servers located in different geo locations around the world.
When your website uses the CDN service, the servers deliver statically cached content of your site to visitors, from the nearest server based on the location of your visitor.
CDN has a great influence on the speed of the website because it delivers the required content to visitors in different geographical locations at high speed, and they achieve that through the replication process. In addition, CDNs affect bounce rates, conversions, SEO, and the overall experience of your site visitors.
Also, CDN allows your global reach, 100% availability, an increase in the number of concurrent users, and DDoS protection.
Hook up into CDNs. Some of the best are StackPath – which has a large number of servers around the world, private EdgeSSL certification, an intelligent caching system, Gzip compression, 301 redirection, and many other features.
Also, a great option is Sucuri, which in addition to the CDN network, which can optimize the speed of your eCommerce site, also offers protection against malware and hacker attacks.
Some of the other CDN options you can consider are Cloudflare, KeyCDN, and Rackspace.
If your eCommerce website has lost its loading speed, that is a cause for concern, but also a very easy problem to solve.
There are many elements that affect the speed of loading the website, and it is important that every one of them works flawlessly and that they are complementary to each other.
No one has the privilege of wasting time, and neither do you, so don’t let the customers of your eCommerce website wait. Optimize the speed of your site today.